GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Steelcase joins a collaborative effort to rapidly design, manufacture and deploy healthcare resources at scale.
Steelcase announced it has already started and continues to manufacture and deploy critical equipment supplies for healthcare providers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The company is producing masks for use in clinical environments, facial shields for clinicians in direct contact with patients, and social screens for screening and communicating with visitors at safe social distances.
Steelcase is using its plants, model shop and innovation center to rapidly develop solutions that will be built to scale and distributed to medical facilities. The company is working in partnership with healthcare professionals to approve designs for prompt turnarounds. Steelcase is set to produce 6,000 isolation masks and 12,500 face shields per week in its Michigan facilities. The company is working to expand production to Alabama, Mexico, Germany and through key partners.
“This is an extraordinary crisis that requires a strong, coordinated, global response. Steelcase is proud to join this fight and deploy every possible resource we have to support our communities, hospitals and healthcare workers with the equipment they need to keep us healthy and safe,” says Jim Keane, Steelcase President and CEO. “The outpouring of support from Steelcase employees looking for ways they can get involved is profoundly humbling. I am so proud of this team.”
The company is collaborating with other manufacturers to share best practices and accelerate the production of healthcare equipment. This coordinated effort is providing face mask design templates and fabric mask assembly instructions for other businesses and individuals seeking ways to help produce this equipment. Steelcase will begin sharing designs and urging all apparel manufacturers, furniture manufacturers and anyone with a sewing machine to join the efforts.
Additionally, Steelcase is working with community healthcare partners, like Spectrum Health and Mercy Health, to help protect healthcare workers on the frontlines of this battle. In a very short period, Steelcase prototyped and produced clear Plexiglas barriers to help protect Spectrum employees tasked with screening visitors who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
“We’ve seen an incredible amount of strength and courage of Michiganders during this time of uncertainty, whether it’s from communities donating food, money, and resources to those that need it or from businesses using their technology to manufacture personal protective equipment,” says Governor Whitmer. “This action from Steelcase will help us protect health care professionals on the front lines and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. I’m proud to work with Steelcase and every business that steps up during this time to protect Michigan families.”
As Steelcase works diligently to provide life-saving equipment for its fellow community members, it continues to ensure employees who continue working to develop this essential equipment are protected by enforcing social distancing, using personal protection equipment and thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing facilities.